Hundreds of runners took part in the 114th annual Natal Day road race in Dartmouth on Monday.
Festivities commemorated the founding of Halifax in 1749. It’s a moment athletes have been waiting for as the race was shelved during the pandemic.
“This is one of the most special races,” said runner Susan Campbell.
“It’s been on for so long, and you always wind up seeing people you haven’t for a long time.”
The race was one of many events making their long-awaited bounce-back into the Natal Day lineup — marking a return to normal for many.
“It’s great after COVID to be able to do this,” runner Mathew Lawton said.
Another event making its return was the Natal Day parade.
The festivities began in the north end of Halifax and made their way over the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge to Dartmouth.
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“It feels good to have things normal again,” said one parade goer. “Kids are having fun, we’re all having fun. And it’s Emancipation Day, so a lot of celebration.”
Military members, politicians, and local community leaders were accompanied by busker performers.
The Halifax Busker Festival is another event that made a grand return this year, with dozens of performers lined up on the city’s waterfront.
It’s a hot spot for tourists like Jordan Christianson.
“It’s really cool. I thought it was awesome,” Christianson said.
“I liked the comedy. I was really surprised to see something like this.”
Busker Ruben Dotdotdot said crowds have been “amazing” this year. “It just warms my heart to be able to do shows for you guys again.”
The Natal Day and Emancipation Day festivities continue Monday night with free concerts at the Grand Oasis stage in downtown Halifax.
— with files from Karla Renic
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